An ad j acent opening, the Khyber Pass, the Kurram Pass to the south of it, the Gomal Pass near Dera Ismail Khan, the Tochi Pass between the two last-named, and the famous Bolan Pass still farther south, furnish the gateways between India and Afghanistan.
This led to long negotiations, and ultimately to war, when the British forced the Khyber Pass in November 1878, and defeated the amir's forces on every occasion.
Strategically it is an important topographical feature, for it divides the basin of the Kabul river and the Khyber route from the valley of Kurram, leaving no practicable pass across its rugged crest to connect the two.
Between it and Peshawar intervenes the Khyber Pass, and between it and Kabul the passes of Jagdalak, Khurd Kabul, &c. The site was chosen by the emperor Baber, and he laid out some gardens here; but the town itself was built by his grandson Akbar in A.D.
As a strategical centre Jalalabad is one of the most important positions in Afghanistan, for it dominates the entrances to the Laghman and the Kunar valleys; commanding routes to Chitral or India north of the Khyber, as well as the Kabul-Peshawar road.
The place is of both political and commercial importance, as the Indus is here crossed by the military and trade route through the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan.
Between Jalalabad and Peshawar is the Khyber pass.
The Khyber was not in ancient times the main route of advance from Kabul to Peshawar.
To avenge these disasters and recover the prisoners preparations were made in India on a fitting scale; but it was the 16th of April 1842 before General Pollock could relieve Jalalabad, after forcing the Khyber Pass.
Sir Donald Stewart's force, marching up through Baluchistan by the Bolan Pass, entered Kandahar with little or no resistance; while another army passed through the Khyber Pass and took up positions at Jalalabad and other places on the direct road to Kabul.
In addition, the reserve of the native army numbered 34,846 men, the volunteers 34,962, the frontier militia (including the Khyber Rifles) about 6000, the levies (chiefly in Baluchistan) about 6000, and the military police (chiefly in Burma) about 22,000.
British armies advanced by three routes - the Khyber, the Kurram and the Bolan - and without much opposition occupied the inner entrances of the passes.
Finally, in August the powerful Afridi tribe joined the combination and closed the Khyber Pass, which runs through their territory, and which was held by them, on conditions, in trust for the government of India.
Besides the regular native army there are: (a) various frontier and other levies, such as the Khyber Rifles and the Waziristan Militia; (b) selected contingents from the armies of the native princes, inspected by British officers, numbering about 20,000 and styled "imperial service troops"; (c) the volunteers, about 32,000 strong; and (d) the military police.
It was probably through the Khaibar (Khyber) Pass that he passed into the Peshawar plain, for it was there that he first defeated the Imperial forces.
Across this barrier the old road from Kabul to India ran before the Khyber Pass was adopted as the main route.
In 1897 all the forts on the Samana were attacked by the Orakzais, arid this and the Afridi attack on the Khyber Pass were the two chief causes of the Tirah Expedition.
The Gomal pass is the most important pass on the Indian frontier between the Khyber and the Bolan.
This last region is divided into five agencies: Dir, Swat and Chitral, with headquarters at Malakand; Khyber, Kurram, Tochi and Wana.
Between this agency and the Khyber Pass lie the Mohmand hills, a rough country with but little cultivation, under the political control of Peshawar.
West and south-west of the Khyber again is the country of the Afridis and the Orakzais.
To Jamrud at the entrance to the Khyber Pass.
The Khyber, Kurram and Tochi are the best known, inasmuch as all these lines of advance into Afghanistan are held by British troops or Indian levies.